Research on how to keep feeding the planet while preserving wildlife rewarded with the Volvo Environment Prize 2020

GÖTEBORG, Sweden, Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ —  The world is losing species at an alarming rate. The forests and wild areas of the Earth are rapidly transformed into farmlands, pushing wildlife into steep decline. A way to reverse this catastrophic trend is to change the working lands – agriculture, forestry, and ranches – to more diverse landscapes to preserve biodiversity. Conservation biologist Professor Claire Kremen is this year’s laureate of the Volvo Environment Prize for her world-class research on how humanity can feed itself while protecting biodiversity.

National parks and reserves have been the cornerstone of traditional nature conservation, such as the Serengeti or Kruger Park in Africa. Without these national parks, it would perhaps not be possible to see wild elephants or lions anymore. But only about 15 percent of the world’s surface is protected. The lands where humans are farming, doing forestry, and ranching make up

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Brazil Says Privatizations Will Help Save the Environment

(Bloomberg) — Brazil is framing its slow-moving privatization program as a way to protect forests and rivers following international investors’ mounting criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policies.

Martha Seillier, special secretary of the Investments Partnerships Program, said infrastructure building via concessions and privatizations not only represents good business opportunities but is also an environment-friendly strategy as the country battles a reputation damaged by surging deforestation rates and rampant forest fires.

“It’s not true that the Brazilian government doesn’t care about the environment,” Seillier said in a video interview. “The question is how we obtain the resources and solutions we need to preserve the environment.”



a woman wearing a blue shirt: Martha Seillier


© via Bloomberg
Martha Seillier

Martha Seillier. Courtesy of Brazil Presidential Palace Flickr account

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Recently-appproved legislation backed by the government to facilitate the privatization of water and sewage treatment will reduce river pollution and improve hygiene standards, and railways concessions will cut down

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Playoff bubble environment not ‘safest course of action’ for avoiding COVID-19

With the Tennessee Titans set to return to action Tuesday night after a two-week layoff to account for the organization’s COVID-19 outbreak, NFL officials continue to stress to teams the importance of remaining vigilant in ensuring their players, coaches and staffers follow protocol to minimize the spread of the virus.

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The NFL’s owners on Tuesday took part in a virtual meeting on health, safety and other on-field matters. Commissioner Roger Goodell and chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills reiterated their message of the need for compliance and a commitment to the strategy of the preventative measures of wearing masks, hand-washing and maintaining social distancing along with testing, tracing and isolation.

“We can not become complacent,” Goodell told reporters, relaying his message to teams. “Not the players, not the

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The Morrison government cuts uni funding for environment courses by almost 30%

There has been much attention on how the Morrison government’s university funding reforms will increase the cost of humanities degrees. But another devastating change has passed almost unnoticed: a 29% cut to funding to environmental studies courses. This is one of the largest funding cuts to any university course.

Universities will receive almost A$10,000 less funding per year for each student undertaking environmental studies. The cut will undoubtedly lead to fewer students and lower-quality learning experiences.

Environmental studies encompasses the biological and earth sciences, as well as management and planning. Graduates go on to work as government policy officers, and managers in fields including water resources, the environment, urban planning and climate change adaption.

We are senior members of the Australian Council of Environmental Deans and Directors, with more than 80 years of collective experience in various environmental fields. At a time of unprecedented pressures on our environment, expertise in

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To Reach Younger Audiences, Policymakers Should Turn to the Environment

It is no secret the conservative movement in America struggles to attract younger voters. Research conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that only 12% of millennials identify as conservative or mostly conservative. One policy issue that could help conservatives grow their ranks among younger voters is the environment. 

Compared to other generations, younger voters have a strong interest in environmental issues. A youth poll conducted by Tufts University earlier this year found that the environment and climate change ranked second among top priorities out of 17 issue areas. Another Pew Study from last year found millennials and members of Generation Z place a higher priority on environmental issues than their elders. 

Protecting the environment is important, but how we protect it is also important.

To many, the pathway to environmental progress is through more government intervention—renewable energy mandates that centrally plan a state’s energy portfolio or heavy-handed regulations that

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Trade, biofuels and the environment: key agriculture issues in U.S. election

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump enjoys broad support among farmers, but some are unhappy about the impact of his trade and biofuel policies on crop prices and international demand for U.S. agricultural products. Democrat challenger Joe Biden has seized on the biofuel issue, pledged a more multilateral approach to international trade, and promises to make farming more environmentally friendly.

FILE PHOTO: Soybeans are harvested from a field on Hodgen Farm in Roachdale, Indiana, U.S. November 8, 2019. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

Here are some key campaign issues:

TRADE

Trump challenged trade deals between the U.S. and many of its top commercial partners. Those included some of the largest export markets for U.S. farmers. Trump’s trade war with China, a top buyer of soybeans, dairy and pork, in particular was a sore spot for the president among rural voters.

The series of tariffs imposed on Chinese goods since 2018 have resulted in

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Analysis: Indonesia is putting business before the environment and that could be disastrous for its rainforests

The omnibus jobs creation law was intended to simplify Indonesia’s complex web of overlapping regulations to make it easier for companies to do business in the country. It includes changes to more than 70 laws across the labor, business and environmental sectors.

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has promised the law will help boost the country’s ailing coronavirus-hit economy by cutting through red tape and bureaucracy to attract foreign investment and create jobs in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Union and Muslim groups are preparing to challenge the law in court and another wave of protests is expected this week, according to Reuters.

But while the protests have focused on concerns over labor rights, environmentalists say the law loosens environmental protections and could lead to widespread deforestation and habitat loss.

Indonesia’s rainforests are the world’s third largest after the Amazon and Africa’s Congo Basin and are ecologically important for their rich

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Opinion | When the U.S. and China Fight, It Is the Environment That Suffers

The problem predates the Trump administration. While I was conducting fieldwork in the northern province of Shanxi several years ago, a local official told me that, considering how much better China’s environmental record was than India’s, foreign governments’ loud demands that China curb pollution must be a plot to contain the country’s rise.

Since then, Mr. Trump’s move to pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris climate accord — under which the Obama administration had committed to reducing America’s emissions and to contributing $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund — has further undermined, predictably, Washington’s credibility on environmental issues. The same goes for the Trump administration’s repeated rollbacks on domestic environmental regulations: undoing the Clean Power Plan, promising to revitalize the coal industry, easing restrictions on oil and gas drilling, and moving to lift limits on chemicals that can be used near streams and wetlands.

Rising tensions

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Dozens of lives have been lost at dams on Illinois waterways. Now efforts are underway to remove them for safety and the good of the environment.

A close call at the Batavia dam helped trigger plans for big changes there.



a tree next to a waterfall: The DuPage River dam at the Hammel Woods Forest Preserve in Shorewood was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
The DuPage River dam at the Hammel Woods Forest Preserve in Shorewood was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

In August, a couple on a pontoon boat lost power, floated down the Fox River, and got stuck on top of the dam, City Administrator Laura Newman said. A woman on the boat fell into the water and got pulled into the churning undertow on the dam’s downstream side before rescuers were able to pull her out.



a body of water surrounded by trees: A DuPage River dam at the Hammel Woods Forest Preserve in Shorewood will be removed.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
A DuPage River dam at the Hammel Woods Forest Preserve in Shorewood will be removed.

“It became a life-or-death situation,” Newman said. “The sooner that dam comes out, the better.”

Dozens of boaters, anglers, children and would-be rescuers have drowned in recent decades

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Device to curb microplastic emissions wins James Dyson award | Environment

A device that captures microplastic particles from tyres as they are emitted – and could help reduce the devastating pollution they cause – has won its designers a James Dyson award.

The Tyre Collective, a group of masters students from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art, scooped the UK prize of the international competition with their solution for the growing environmental scourge of tyre wear caused by road transport.

Every time a vehicle brakes, accelerates or turns a corner, the tyres wear down through friction and tiny particles become airborne. This produces 500,000 tonnes of tyre particles annually in Europe alone. Globally, it is estimated tyre wear accounts for nearly half of road transport particulate emissions. It is also the second-largest microplastic pollutant in the oceans after single-use plastic.

The winning device is fitted to the wheel and uses electrostatics to collect particles as they are emitted

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